stories from the Indies
Mr T was sitting in the Batan Orchid Teagarden with young Mangel and Worzel. As always,they asked for a story with their dinner.
'I only have a sad story today-is that alright?'
'Yes Daddy,better than no story.'
Alice was a plain girl, rarely noticed by the boys and she rarely took any notice of them. But one morning the kitchen door bell rang and she answered it. When she opened the door she found a red-haired boy with sticky-out ears who smelled of fish.
'Haddock' he said offering her some fish in brown paper.
She put the fish into the cold store and the boy had gone by the time she had returned. She thought he looked gentle and kind, if not handsome. She waited a week until it was again fish day.
When the boy rang the bell and held out the haddock, he was most surprised to find that he had had his first kiss. He ran off down the street, stopped for a second, thought, then ran back as fast as he could for a second.
And so Alice had a boy. They kissed each fish day for a year until the war came and the boy felt it his duty to volunteer. Perhaps he had had enough of being the fish-boy. Perhaps he had had enough of Alice? I think not, as he wrote every week. Until the letters stopped.
Alice cried for two weeks. She went to see the boys parents who ran the fish shop. The window was lined in black paper and a tiny picture of a boy was inbetween the cod and the eel. But when she tried to speak to them they called her a lying hussy and denied, violently at times, any connection between their heroic son and a plain kitchen maid.
Alice got a job in a haberdashers and her lack of outside interest lead to her being given a senior role in the company's office staff. Every fish day, once she earned enough, she bought a small piece of haddock and for a moment let herself think about what might have been.
The years passed and even a second war came and went, but nothing seemed to leave an impression on her, except time itself. Eventually she became aware that something was wrong, very wrong, deep inside. She never thought about visiting a doctor, because there was no treatment that would cure her, instead she thought about visiting her boy for the first and last time.
Alice abonded the conducted coach tour at the first cemetery. The guide had been very upset at the thought of losing one of his flock, but she was free to go, so she did.
She had cried at the first cemetry, just from the enormity. She thought of all the other Alices who had been left behind and wondered how many married in the end, how many remained true and those who were never given the choice.
On the third day at the third cemetery she knew she was close - the surnames were familiar, other boys from home. It had been drizzeling for days and she was chilled through. The ground was becoming mud, just as had done so long ago.
She almost walked past it, there being such a cold fog in her mind. It was such a small cross and such a tiny patch of grass. She knelt down and felt the dampness. She lay down on the grass, curled up. I must look ridiculous, she thought but she did not care. She had not cared since she had seen the fish shop in black.
She closed her eyes and wished herself to sleep, to sleep forever on his grave. She waited, listening to her heartbeat and breathing.
She woke with a start, feeling cold as stone. It hadn't worked. She felt a suffocating sense of failure. She opened her eyes, looked up at the blue sky through the tears - a blue sky that seemed infinite and eternal. She sniffed - 'haddock' - she smiled and turned her head to greet him.
so who's for icecream?
I'm not sure how to reply to your story except to say it had me gripped from beginning to end. Very interesting and most intriguing.
I don't suppose you'd believe me if I said my story is in rhyme! I wrote a few of these for a couple of children that I knew - therefore it is a children's rhyming story!This first one is very long so I will post half of it.
Are you as brave as adventurous Pip,
Who sailed stormy seas in a Viking Ship?
He stood at the prow, his sword in his hand,
Ready to explore after finding dry land.
Many miles of ocean, Pip had crossed,
Over crashing waves his boat was tossed
With his sister, Bean, always by his side,
Tales to tell round a warm fireside!
They planned a brave quest, to a distant shore
Not only two of them, they needed more.
It wasn’t long before they had enough.
Stalwart sailors who said they were tough
From the beach they sailed in a new longship,
One hundred people, led by Pip,
The ship sailed smoothly as it headed West,
With brave young Vikings on an unknown quest.
Out of turbulent sea, in darkest night,
Reared a huge monster, what a dreadful fright!
Sleeping men knew nothing of the danger,
Snoring beneath that threatening stranger.
One young man crept from underneath the sail
Difficult to stand in a force ten gale
Waves pounded and crashed over his head
The huge sea-dragon filled his heart with dread.
Brave little Pip found his trusty sword,
Lifted it high, as dragon thrashed and roared,
A mighty wave struck, the dragon lifted high,
Taking to flight across the midnight sky.
Bean had witnessed what her brother had done,
Shouted so loud, woke sailors, every one.
‘Wake idle creatures, Pip has saved your hide
From a hungry dragon who likes food fried!
With sail hoisted high, wind kept them on course
Guided by stars, a pace they couldn’t force.
Pip stayed on watch, they voyaged through the night,
At last land ahead, a welcome sight.
To be continued - if anyone interested - put back in the archives if not!
Please can I have an ice cream now!
a raspberry ripple with a flake. kept seeing pictures of noggin the nog!
Turnip what a lovely story. I can think of several older ladies from my past that this could have related to.
It's a bit too early for ice cream I'll just pour myself another cup of tea.
glad you enjoyed it pebble. when i was telling the story to the children (that bits true) i couldn't finish it (embarrassing to be affected by one's own story), so i am glad to have been able to post it here. one of the many (?) advantages of having pd!
Today's story, said Mr T, eyeing his Nasi Goreng lustily, will be short. As the last story was about lost love and fish, so this story is about lost love and spicy pork soup.
Pin and Pan were two warriors of the Blue Horde during the time of the third unrest. They were the greatest of friends and were entirely inseperable. Many times Pin rescued Pan from death in battle and many times Pan rescued Pin.
For years the Blue Horde criss-crossed the land, fighting the other armies, killing peasants and generally enjoying themselves.
The lived well off the land and had a large following of kitchen-waggons, the most famous being the hot pork wagon of Mr Sun which only appeared on campaign and was gone during the winter resting.
One day Pin and Pan were in a scouting party looking for a band of Heavenly Monkeys that had been harassing their supply lines. The commander misjudged the enemy and he and Pan were separated from the others. The monkeys fell on the two men and tore than to pieces. Pin ran to help but was held back by his comrades. He scratched and bit at them desperate to reach Pan, even though his friend lay strewn in pieces on the ground. In his despair, his legs gave way and he was dragged from danger, his comrades turning their heads away from his sorrow.
Pin lay on his side of the tent leaving Pan's half empty, as if he could return at any moment. For two weeks he ate nothing, turning pale and sickly. His comrades tried to tempt him with all sorts of delicacies but nothing worked.
Then one day a young soldier burst in and said that old Sun had said that he could bring the dead back to life and Pan could be re-united with Pin.
For the first time in days Pin reacted to a visitor.
'Take me to Sun' he asked in a dry voice.
Pin lay on Sun's couch.
'Can you bring back Pan to me?'
'That foolish youth should not have said such a thing. No-one can bring back the dead.'
Pin collapsed back onto the couch sobbing.
'But here, have some pork soup. Then I will reunited you as best I can with your dear Pan.'
Pin took the soup in trembling hands. It smelled divine, and he gobbled it down. He felt his strength returning and his mind clearing.
'Have some more.'
The second bowl was even better, the cubes of pork soft and spicy.
Pin stopped eating, the spoon motionless, his eyes staring at the piece of pork. On the pork was a piece of skin, and on the skin was his name in faded blue ink.
He tore open his own shirt and there was, above his heart, the name of Pan, tattoed in exactly the same way.
The old man coughed. He was holding a very large knife.
'So, in a way, Pan is now united with his dear Pin, his sinews will become yours, his blood will flow through your viens, what more could you want ?' he said smiling.
Pin's mind leapt to the correct deduction -
'All these years you have been feeding us our dead comrades?'
The old man smiled again.
'You are a monster!'
The smile dropped, a severe frown replaced it.
'It is your glorious general who is the monster. It is he who ended a million lives. I, on the other hand, have saved a million lives.'
'Whose lives have you saved?' sneered Pin.
'The pigs's' the old man's smile returned.
'A pig's life is not worth a man's.'
'No it is worth much more. A pig does not kill or steal or rape. Pig's are most moral creatures. They don't deserve to end up in soup.'
Pin reached a second deduction -
'So you are going to put me in the soup too.'
'That was my plan...but you are such an intelligent, loyal and, I believe, good man that if you promise me on Pan's soul that you will not tell anyone about my, err, supplier and promise not to harm me in anyway, then I will let you go.'
Pin lowered his eyes, what he had to do was clear to him now.
'I solemly promise on Pan's soul not to tell anyone nor to harm you in anyway.'
The old man put down his knife and turned away.
Pin drew his sword and cut of the old man's head with one instanteous movement.
'The soup will be a little chewy tonight.' he hissed as he set to work.
Now can I eat my dinner?
Lin, if little Pip can put up with such dubious company, can we have part 2?
yes please Lin I also want to know what happens to Pip & Bean
I will never eat soup again without thinking of your story! In fact, I don't think I will ever eat soup again! I laughed and cried in equal measure!
Pip and Bean don't come anywhere near your standard of story telling. But, as I have nothing spoiling at the moment, I will go and find them.
They will be here shortly!
Pip and Bean continue for ab and turnip.
The longship was beached high up on the sand.
How good it felt, to be back on dry land.
Deep in thought, strange sounds reached their ears,
Hollering and drumming increased their fears.
In less time than it takes to blink an eye,
The ship was surrounded, couldn’t see sky.
Circling around them, looking sly and mean,
Strangest set of people they’d ever seen.
‘Stop this now!’ cried the hungry Pip and Bean.
‘Is this behaviour part of a routine?
You look quite fierce, but we are not afraid,
We come in peace, friendships to be made.
The natives were amazed at no attack,
Ceased their awful noise and took a step back.
They couldn’t believe that here before their eyes?
Were two fearless Vikings of miniature size.
It has to be said that when Pip and Bean smiled,
Even the fiercest would turn meek and mild,
Laughter in their eyes, natives knew they couldn’t win,
When two cheeky Vikings began to grin.
The sailors were led to a place nearby,
A banquet was ordered; the food was piled high.
They ate and they drank, they had a great time,
Dancing, singing, telling stories in rhyme.
Though language was strange and not clearly understood,
They clapped and cheered to pretend that they could.
Full to burst, they lay their heads down to rest
Dreaming they had reached the end of their quest.
Early next morning the old native chief,
Was up and about, his chat was brief,
Told Pip and Bean this was a special place,
Must be kept secret from the human race!
This New World had welcomed Pip and Bean,
Long before Columbus hit the scene,
the youngsters called for everyone to board
Making sure their many treasures were safely stored.
The longship launched, strong wind filled the sail,
Some of the sailors began to look pale,
Through spray of the sea, the journey was quick
No-one on board was the slightest bit sick.
Back to England, they raced with the tide,
Returning home, the longship was spied,
With Bean at the stern and Pip at the prow
They landed quite safely, but what happens now?
Well this was the tale of young Pip and Bean,
The bravest of Vikings that you’ve ever seen,
It won’t be long before they set sail again,
And if you are lucky you can go with them then.
This is story about a famine of love and food. It is definitely the last story, said Mr T, because it is a trilogy, and trilogies have three parts. Therefore it is LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for there to be a fourth story. Wurzel looked very impressed at it being LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE but Mangel looked very dubious.
'But if there were a fourth story..'
'The it would be a tetralogy ... but that could only happen if you were real. Since you are fictional and therefore entirely created in language, your universe only consists of propositions not facts and therefore contingencies are necessities.'
That kept her quiet for a while.
Once upon a time there was a terrible famine. At first the cats were happy because all the dogs had been eaten. Then the mice were happy because the cats had been eaten. Then the mice were eaten.
People stomachs influenced their minds in terrible ways.
'Bill, wake up,I am terribly hungry and I can't eat any more twigs and acorns. We will have to eat the boy.'
The boy, who they supposed to be asleep listened, his heart pounding at a rapid rate.
'You can't eat our son!' said the man.
'It's either him or us,' said his wife, 'and we can always make another one.'
This argument convinced the man of the necessity.
'I'll take him into the woods tomorrow and hit him on the head with the axe.'
The wife thought this a sound plan and dreamed all night of roasted ribs.'
Next morning the man said 'Son let's go into the woods to gather firewood. That's why I have my enormous axe with me.'
The boy agreed to go with surprising alacrity and the were soon far into the woods.
Eventually they reached a clearing where there was no-one to witness what happens next.
The father spotted a large log that had been left behind by some other loggers.
'Its a bit wobbly son, so you hold it steady while I split it in two with my enormous axe.'
'Sir,' said the boy, 'I am awfully dim - could you show me exactly how to hold this wobbly log?'
The father put down his axe and knelt beside the log holding it firmly.
'Just so' he said, looking up just in time to see the enormous axe heading for the spot right between his eyes.
After the boy had cleaned himself in a small stream, he decided it was best not to return to his village but to seek whatever fate had in store for him deeper in the woods.
He walked until noon and then until dusk, when...
He came across a house made of gingerbread.
'Oh oh' he thought.'I have heard of this place.' And he slowly backed away.
'So reading Grimms's Tales was useful afterall.'
He walked and walked and was getting terribly tired. Just as he was too exhausted to walk further he came upon a furniture shop.
Now, finding a furniture shop in the middle of the great wood should have rung alarm bells. But the boy was not thinking straight having been walking all day, eating nothing for days and killing his father.
There was a large window full of lovely, soft furnishings. As he approached the building the front door slowly swung open.
'How convenient' he thought.
It was dark inside and it took minutes for his eyes to adjust. It was decorated like a luxurious smoking room, not that the boy recognised it as such.
There was a large mirror above the fireplace. His reflection seemed to be trying to tell him something 'not the chammm' .
'I must be very tired' he thought. There was a stuffed parrot in a cage. It turned its head and said 'beware the ...' but fell of its perch before it could finish.
There were six armchairs against the wall, each with a different fabric and style of carved legs. In the middle of the floor was the biggest, softest most comfortable armchair in the world. His limbs ached and he longed to sink into the deep red velvet. Every item of furniture in the room seemed to be chanting 'beware, beware....beware,beware' but the chair was so inviting and he was so very tired.
He sat on the chair, sinking into the soft cushions. A feeling of ecstacy - warm and satisfying - flooded over him. He had never known such happiness, his life having been rather miserable.
He fell asleep. Sometime later he awoke. He tried to get out of the chair but could not move his legs. He looked at his feet - they were shiny, brown and grained - they had turned to wood. He tried to move his hands, but the were now wooden claws. He tried to scream, but his tongue had turned to velvet. Gradually he felt himself metamorphing into a comfortable armchair. The more he changed, the less he felt until all that was left was a dull sense of being soft and heavy.
He felt himself being lifted up and placed against the wall - chair seven. He didn't mind, it was better than being axed or starving, and he fell into the deep sleep of the well upholstered.
Don't you ever tell any happy endings Daddy?'
'Just eat your satay.'
Please though turnip, tell me you did't read #2 & 3 to the children?
the basic stories were made up for the children on the spot at dinner in the hotel in Batam. though i never managed to finish 'alice' as i get a bit emotional. they are horrible history and doctor who fans and like being scared. there are a lot of changes between the original versions and that written down so they didnt get given some of the more grown-up bits.
my daughter is going on stage at school to sing a horrible history song about Boudicca's massacres and subsequent suicide. also a ladygaga fan. she is 9.
in other words, canabalism and turning into armchairs are light entertainment for them.
very glad you enjoyed the stories.
One of my boys cuddled up to his uncle when the ant threatened the children in Honey, I Shrank the Kids. Mind you they were only about 4 and this one would get upset by caged birds, tramps and much more. You are right , most children enjoy being scared, by proxy and if I remember correctly Grimm's tales were more warnings than settle down to sleep stories?
In the original Snow White the Queen thought she ate SW's liver and was executed by having red hot iron boots on her feet. In Disney she accidentally killed herself while doing an evil deed, a ruse that dr who still uses to avoid responsibility for dealing with baddies.
The children were very upset with some of the dr who plots, but that may be good for them like a type of immunisation against real tragedy?
the next dr who looks very scary, i hope our big sofa arrives in time.
Ahh turnip, I know you are right. Immunisation against possibly painful reality. The little boy who shivered at the ant wanted to know that the children would be alright. He wanted to release the caged birds and bring all the tramps home. I know this because he told me so.
I do not know how to spell that initial Ahh. It is not a hesitant er, nor a "wait a minute" Ah. Perhaps it is an abbreviation of "ara musha" which is an affectionate way that Mayo people greet each oher. It has a gentle sound
I hope that your sofa arrives in good time, because it will be moved about before it gets settled
Turnip your storys are amazing but being a wimp, I skip over the nasty bits. I must be one of the few parents who hid behind the kids when Dr Who was on!
I can't believe that, Pebble!
nasty bits? moi?
how do you know a bit is nasty without reading it and then its too late?
they would be very short stories indeed without the nasty bits!
even winny-the-pooh is about a bear with learning difficulties, a donkey with chronic depression, a rabbit with OCD, a pig with growth hormone problems, an owl with schizoid delusions and two australians. And poor old Christopher Robin hated them all and gave them away to a museum.
compared to that lot whats a little cannibalism, patricide and metamorphism?
btw our big sofa is for me at dr who time, the kids have a small one each.
THIS IS QUITE, ERR, INTERESTING STORY. SO IF YOU ARE OF A DELICATE OR SENSITIVE NATURE - THEN DEPART NOW! FOR GOD'S SAKE GO WHILE YOU CAN. AWAY WITH YOU!
SO YOU HAVE DECIDED YOU ARE TOUGH ENOUGH? FIRST OF ALL I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THE NARRATOR DOES [u]NOT[/u] HAVE PARKINSON'S, BUT AN UNRELATED ILLNESS THAT INCLUDES WEAKNESS AND HALLUCINATION.
HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE A CARER,ESPECIALLY ONE CALLED MAUREEN, YOU MIGHT THINK TWICE AS WELL.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
Well who would have thought? Of all the places to die - one's own bath.
I should have taken a shower. Why didn't I? Because Maureen said it would be good for my aches and pains.
So where is Maureen now?
The water had got cold after twenty minutes and he had called out for help. There had been no reply. He had tried to get out but had known right away that it was hopeless. His arms were like a babies -unable to support his own weight, shaking more and more violently as he pressed harder on the slippery rim.
He was wedged in, unable to turn face down and use his legs to get up.
For half an hour the water had sucked the warmth from his body.
He thought about adding hot water but he could not sustain his foot at the right height.
After a dozen attempt he had used his toes to pull out the plug, but once the water had gone he had been colder than ever, and heavier. A chill breeze was coming from somewhere and the water droplets claimed more of his bodyheat as they evaporated.
After an hour he slipped into unconsciousness and dreamt that maureen was by the bath mocking his weakness.He awoke suddenly, unable to see, it was a few minutes before he worked out it was night.
Where was Maureen?
He could ask the man in the corner he supposed, but the man in the corner never answered questions. He has been in the corner of every room, except the bedroom, for a year now, He presumed the man was a hallucination. No point asking a hallucination about Maureen,
He started to shake violently, hypothermia he vaguely thought.
After a while, it stopped. The moon had escaped the clouds and a cold light filled the room. In the room was Maureen. It wasn't Maureen of course, just another phantom - Maureen would never stand there unmoving as he died. He thought about the eight years they had been married - Eve, poor old Eve had not done well with the alimony. So Maureen and he had most of the money, but what good was money to a sick man - his sickness had ruined all their plans.
He looked again at Maureen - she was still there, looking awfully solid for a hallucination, She smiled a little but not at him.
His brain was working slowly, but it was working. His eyes were closed but he could still see through the gap. In the dark bath his shallow breathing was invisble and silent.
The man in the corner moved to stand beside Maureen,
Is he dead yet?
I think so.
I could make sure...
No marks, No need
Seven word had shattered his world. He had still loved Maureen, mixed with a large dollop of awe and a little fear. How could that turn so quickly to despair and an overwhelming desire for revenge. But how could he hurt her while immobile and dying in a bath?
It came to him like an epiphany -thank God we retired to Arizona and thank luck that Maureen's nail file had fallen into the bath and was sticking into his leg.
Maureen didn't see the mixture of cruelty and pain on Donald's ice-cold face as she waited to be certain before calling the police.
Maureen, sat in the lawyer's office..
'I hope you don't mind the Sherrif being here, he may have a few questions later.'
Maureen felt her heartbeat increase suddenly
'As you may know, here in Arizona it is legitimate for a dying man to write his will without a witness as long as it is certain that he wrote it himself.'
Maureen stared, why should this be relevant - there was no will, the money would all be hers.
The will is short and states: All to Eve.
There was a deep silence for five seconds. Everyone was looking at her,
'But how do you know he wrote that himself?' screamed Maureen jumping up.
'Because Madam, it was scratched on his buttock with a nail file found in his hand.'